Juniors Alayna Fogarty and McKenzie Keeler debate the pros and cons of Valentine’s Day.
She Said: Alayna
Valentine’s Day is a holiday built around withered love, overpriced grams of chocolate and pressure amongst those who give the expected gifts. Although the negative complaints regarding Valentine’s Day consist of either A) being single or B) Valentine’s Day being solely for commercial purposes, there is another category where misery can be found on this loathsome holiday. Couples who seem to be falling in and out of love are a part of the misery as well. Valentine’s Day consists of 24 hours when some attempt to fill the gaps in their failed relationships with a dozen roses and a fancy night out, only to realize nothing can save them from the depths of their problematic differences. On the surface, those relationships look picturesque, but the “day of love” only forces couples to evaluate their love and deal with their complications.
Using the consumer lens to assess the negative values in Valentine’s Day, many truths are uncovered. According to Buzzfeed, gold jewelry sales generate 34 million tons of mine waste, while red roses emit around 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Not only is Valentine’s Day affecting our wallets, it is also causing issues within the environment.
Here’s where we get to the best part. The true meaning behind Valentine’s Day is not poetic and full of love like most think it is. In ancient Rome, the Romans would celebrate the feast of Lupercalia from Feb. 13 to 15. The men sacrificed a goat and dog, then would beat the women that were lined up with the skin of the dead animals. The name of Valentine’s Day came from two men who were executed by Emperor Claudius II in the third century A.D. Their names were both Valentine and soon their deaths became a celebration in the Catholic church.
It is ironic because the brutal mistreatment of women was the origin of Valentine’s Day, and now, the main theme for the most part is the praising of women for their part in relationships.
Also, there is a lot of intended pressure to give on this holiday. The strain on the wallet is real. Whether it is up to the man giving, the girl giving or both there is pressure to find the right gift for the right price. How are women supposed to afford a fancy watch or power tools when they blow paychecks on material items? How are men supposed to afford diamond necklaces and designer clothing if they are working a job that pays minimum wage? You will find that around Valentine’s Day nothing is enough when it comes to the cravings of humans.
For all the single ladies and men, Valentine’s Day becomes a day of solitude with a melancholy vibe because of the lack of a significant other to share the love with. While others are enjoying the romantic festivities, the singles are thinking about the love they once had or the love that feels like will never come. Although there are many people without partners, it seems like you are the only one because around every corner you are met with a life size teddy bear and cards that read, “To my special someone.”
All in all, Valentine’s Day is a pointless holiday which adds an unnecessary celebration on Feb. 14. Love can and should be expressed every day of the year instead of devoting one to day to go above and beyond.
She Said: McKenzie
Valentine’s Day is defined as a day, specifically Feb. 14, to honor St. Valentine by exchanging valentines and other tokens of affection. Ever since William Shakespeare and Jeffrey Chaucer romanticized Valentine’s Day centuries ago, the holiday gained admiration in the new world and has been a cherished day of love annually. This ‘day of love’ can be a gateway to new relationships and commemorating an old spark amongst seasoned relationships.
Feb. 14 is a perfect day to celebrate God’s gift of love. Now, I know what Valentine’s Day haters are saying, that “V Day” is just a stupid, commercialized holiday for restaurants and movie theatres to charge extra and single people to sulk in their own loneliness. But really, the day of romance has a deeper meaning. If you do not celebrate, you are just missing out on all the love-filled activities going on all around you. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens are having a Valentine’s Day event featuring themed lights, flowers and lots of music, dancing and desserts! Also, in Atlanta, romantic hot air balloon rides are available for everyone. What better way to celebrate than with a picnic basket and a sunset view from the heights of Atlanta?
The best excuse to go on a romantic date and go out and do something out of the ordinary just happens to be Valentine’s Day. Are you tired of constantly binging Netflix and doing the same old routines for dates? This is the perfect day for you! Restaurants and movies are a great date option to get out and about. Also, ice skating, roller blading, go-cart racing and laser tag are also great dates to venture out on.
Though the holiday is associated with love amongst couples, Valentine’s Day helps more than just loved ones. According to the National Retail Federation, Valentine’s Day will contribute $18.2 billion to the economy. This outrageous number is helping the U.S. economy and benefitting everyone, single or not.
According to History.com, 141 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion. Even jewelry stores benefit selling an estimated $2.6 billion worth of merchandise in February. It is obvious that people do celebrate the love filled holiday, and you should too!
Valentine’s Day does not necessarily have to be a holiday celebrating the love for your significant other. This day celebrates all types of love. Whether the love you have is for your friends, family, teacher, peers, dog or even pet chinchilla, you can celebrate it and get them a little something special to make their day brighter. Maybe send your best pal flowers or even some chocolate to share the love with them!
Valentine’s Day is a national holiday that should not only be kept but should remain a very loved and celebrated holiday. So, go out, make some Valentines, love on your friends and family and most of all, spread the joyous feeling that is love.